Monday, July 14, 2014

THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from your experience and imagination

Whether we know it or not, whether we want it or not, we all write from our own experience.  Our stories are founded on the life we led and continue to lead, on everything we’ve learned in the process, and on the spaces in between.  Some writers take that material and relate it almost verbatim; others create very different worlds and characters.  In other words, some write memoir, others write fiction.  One of these essential elements is the writing of scenes – the building blocks of stories. 

Have manageable goals.
Establish a plan of action 
* Will you write every day? every other day? once a week?
* Will you write in the mornings, before getting up or in the afternoons? in the evenings before going to sleep?
* How much will you write? one page? a thousand words? for 15 minutes? 
* Find a journal or magazine or anthology with a deadline and work towards that goal.
Deadlines are extremely useful to make us write, produce a story or a poem or an essay.  That short piece can later become a longer work, perhaps a novel, or a collection of essays.
Stick with the plan
Institute a strategy whereby someone will remind you if you don't keep the planned schedule of writing.  For example, if you don't write one day, you'll have to call your friend and tell him. Or if you don't write one day, you can't watch any television the next day or you can't have dessert. Anything that will make you write rather than endure the consequences is good.
Reward yourself
When you have completed the writing project and submitted it or turned it into your writing group, do something fun, something you've been wanting to do or have or eat.  The next day start a new goal.
Keep writing
Next blog post: Second step.

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